Tis’ the season! Here we are in the heat and humidity with the AC running, the skies are blue, and the sun is shining through the palm trees. There is a palm print couch in our living room, banana trees printed on our curtains and a pile of sand on our floor. And as we sit here in shorts and bare feet it certainly doesn’t feel like the Christmas we grew up with, so we thought we’d change that.
Coming from Chicago and Colorado, it just doesn’t feel like Christmas without cold weather, snow, a Christmas Tree in the living room and music playing. Living in Belize, unfortunately we cannot make it cold and snowy (hehe), but we can recreate the tree and the music…so, yesterday we fired up the Christmas music, bundled up in our shorts, and tromped out in the heat in search of the perfect Christmas Tree. We did not have to go far when we spotted the most unique tree, a tropical Christmas Tree, from the landscaping around our condo unit. We hacked off a palm leaf with our machete (shhh..don’t tell) and admired the beautiful specimen that would make Christmas Christmas.
Making our own Christmas Ornaments
Now that we had found the perfect tree, we needed to decorate it. Since this isn’t our permanent home and this may be our only Christmas here, we didn’t want to invest in Christmas decorations. We live simply and don’t want to waste money by adding one time use items to our inventory, so buying pre-made Christmas decorations was not an option. Instead, as a more fun and creative option, we decided to make our own decorations. Being that this was a tropical Christmas tree, we found things that were relative, in abundance and free – shells from the beach in front of our home.
G went out and collected shells and brought them back to paint them using his watercolor paints. I used her finger paints in an attempt to paint the shells, but ended up getting more on her face than on the shell itself (see gallery below). Then we glued foam shapes, paper and pipe cleaners to them to make ornaments. Using our craft supplies, plus a few Christmas themed ones that we purchased, we had a lot of fun working on a project together as a family. The results were beautifully decorated shell ornaments that we proudly displayed on our tree.
S & G made a beautiful red paper chain. This is probably our favorite way to decorate a Christmas Tree – it brings a child-like quality to it. In our opinion, we all need to be like children more often.
And poor K got stuck with Christmas lights. Our neighbors gave us two strands of lights that didn’t work, but thought that between the two strands we could get one to work. K tried for a while, switching out all the bulbs and tinkering with the fuses, but no luck. We ended up purchasing one strand of colored Christmas lights, because a Christmas Tree just isn’t a Christmas Tree without lights.
Enhanced with a bit of our creative touch, we created the most beautiful Tropical Christmas Tree Palm that San Pedro has ever seen.
We’ve spent Christmas in a different location for the past four years, and even though we travel as a lifestyle, we still like upholding some holiday traditions that we have established with our small family. S made some cookies (and ate too many), we had friends over for dinner, and Santa brought Christmas gifts as a surprise to our children. They don’t get a barrage of toys, but they do get a couple of gifts sprinkled throughout Christmas day (or Christmas Eve this year since we will be traveling on Christmas Day – see our upcoming post). We have found that opening a plethora of gifts at one time is overwhelming and the kids don’t have time to play with the gifts before being forced to open the next gift. And kids really do appreciate gifts more when there are less. Read more about why we don’t give multiple gifts at once.
We had a wonderful Christmas Eve morning with our children. They woke up surprised to see the 4 little red gifts from Santa sitting under the tree. In no time at all the red paper was torn open to reveal some items that they have been coveting (but have been patient with) for a while. We spent the morning playing with the toys on the beach and sharing them with some other children.
We want to wish every one of you the best of the holiday season. Enjoy the one’s you love, laugh hard so your belly hurts the next day, and eat LOTS of decadent food.
Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays from the Kings!